Our current system is not adequately preparing students for life beyond school. It’s time to rethink how we’re going about education reform. Can a focus on civics lead to school-wide achievement? The CivXNow documentary below provides a great example of school transformation driven by the civic investment of teachers, students, parents, and community members. Here’s how Chicago’s George Washington High School used civics to drive change.
Since implementing the new state requirement for civic education, the school has seen a complete turnaround. Academic achievement is up, discipline incidents are down, and the school has transformed into a place where students thrive and feel a sense of belonging and pride.
The school’s story holds a valuable lesson. Now, one need only walk into the school to feel how invested students are in it. As Ward 10 Alderwoman Garza states in the documentary, “Now, kids want to come here…and that filters out back into the community.” Investing in the civic life of schools suggests a pathway for a new kind of education reform, one in which fueling democracy through education will also fuel education through democracy. We think this is a model worth exploring.
Read more about George Washington High School in this EducationNext piece by iCivics Executive Director, Louise Dubé: What changed at George Washington High School in Chicago